Inspired by the classic favorite holiday candy, my Peppermint Bark Cookies are the perfect trifecta of chocolate, white chocolate and festive peppermint. They take just 30 minutes to make, don’t require a mixer, and need NO chilling! Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Unique Christmas Cookie
Peppermint bark is winter’s version of pumpkin spice; it’s the flavor of the season, found in everything from hot chocolate to candles, and today I’m infusing it into cookies. Not just any cookies, though, these are a festive favorite of mine that I first shared a few years ago and that needed a facelift (but no changes to the original recipe, that was just right).
These cookies are soft and chewy, rich without being too decadent, and resplendent in a way that makes them a must-bake for your holiday cookie tray. I made sure to develop this recipe so the end result included all the textures you crave in a peppermint bark bar: smooth white chocolate candy coating, crunchy peppermint bits, and pops of dark chocolate throughout.
As decadent and gorgeous as they appear, these cookies are actually very simple to make. You don’t need a mixer to make the dough AND you don’t have to chill it–just stir everything together and bake. These are a fun and unique (and much easier!) alternative to the classic roll-out sugar cookies or gingerbread men that you’ll find on most Christmas cookie trays.
Why you’ll love my recipe:
- No mixer: the dough can be mixed entirely by hand.
- Fast: just 30 minutes to make with NO chilling!
- Amazing texture: the cookies are soft and chewy with pops of chocolate and peppermint.
- Easy: uses basic ingredients and no fancy tools or techniques.
- Fun and colorful. A festive addition to any Christmas cookie tray.
What You Need
A few of those ingredients up there are worth noting before we start prepping our peppermint bark cookies:
- Natural cocoa powder. Make sure to use natural cocoa powder; I don’t recommend Dutch process cocoa here as the cookies won’t turn out quite the same.
- Cornstarch. The secret ingredient from my chocolate chip cookies makes another guest appearance here. Just a pinch of cornstarch makes these cookies soft and chewy and prevents them from spreading too much in the oven.
- Mini chocolate chips. If you don’t have mini chocolate chips on hand, they can be omitted or you can finely chop a dark chocolate bar. I personally like the chocolatey pops throughout though and think they help create a nice texture!
- Peppermint extract. My recipe only uses a small splash of this extract for a subtle infusion of peppermint flavor, think a bit less than a thin mint cookie. It’s certainly not going to knock you in the face with mint flavor, but if you’re looking for a more potent punch feel free to double the extract. Note that this is not the same as mint extract, which I feel has more of a toothpaste-y flavor. Opt for peppermint!
- White chocolate. Use a high-quality white chocolate, like Ghirardelli. In this instance, chopped premium white chocolate bars will also work if you can’t find white chocolate chips.
- Crushed candy canes. Crush them small enough so they lend a nice subtle crunchy texture on the cookies (large pieces could be a bit jaw-jarring). I used crushed mini candy canes, but you can crush large ones or even use pre-crushed candy cane pieces (Amazon has them).
SAM’S TIP: Adding just a bit of either vegetable shortening or coconut oil to the white chocolate makes it much easier to work with when dipping the cookies. You can omit this if you don’t have any on hand, but just know the chocolate will be thicker and more difficult to dip.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Melt the chocolate – Melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, then cool completely.
- Add the wet ingredients – Stir in the sugars, egg, egg yolk, and extracts.
- Combine the dry ingredients – Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the chocolate mixture.
- Bake and cool – Drop cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly before baking for 9 minutes. Let the cookies cool on their sheets for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Prepare the chocolate – Melt the white chocolate and shortening in the microwave until smooth and melted.
- Dip, top, and enjoy! Dip each cookie in chocolate, place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, and top with crushed candy canes.
SAM’S TIP: Wait until your chocolate mixture has completely cooled before adding your remaining wet ingredients! If you add them while the mixture is still warm, you risk melting your sugars, leaving you with a greasy, wet cookie dough. Your cookies will spread all over the baking sheet if this happens, and unfortunately no amount of chilling will save them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Wrap them well and store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months. If you’re looking to freeze the cookies before baking, check out my post on how to freeze cookie dough.
That will work just fine; I find that using the microwave is much easier though. If you have issues with your chocolate seizing in the microwave, check out my post on how to melt chocolate chips in the microwave.
I generally recommend using unsalted butter vs salted butter to better control the salt in my recipes. I know many of you just keep salted butter on hand though. If this applies to you, you can use salted butter and reduce the salt in this recipe to ¼ teaspoon.
I have another peppermint bark dessert recipe coming later this week–stay tuned!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Peppermint Bark Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces (113g)
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (340g)
- ¾ cups light brown sugar firmly packed (150g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (208g)
- 2 Tablespoons natural cocoa powder (13g)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips optional (140g)
- 10 oz premium white chocolate chips (about 1 ⅔ cup or 280g)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening or coconut oil
- ½ cup crushed candy canes I used 10 crushed mini canes
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine butter and 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, repeating at 15 second increments until chocolate and butter are completely melted.
- Remove from microwave and allow to cool at least 10 minutes or until mixture no longer feels warm to the touch before proceeding.
- Once butter/chocolate mixture has cooled, stir in sugars, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and peppermint extracts.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until completely combined.
- Stir in mini chocolate chips, if using.
- Drop cookie dough by 1 ½ Tablespoon scoop onto parchment paper, pressing down slightly to flatten.
- Bake 9 minutes, allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cookie rack to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
- Prepare white chocolate by placing in medium-sized microwave-safe bowl with shortening or coconut oil. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then continue to microwave in 15-second increments (stirring well in-between) until chocolate is completely melted.
- Dip cookies ⅓-½ of the way in white chocolate and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Allow chocolate to harden before enjoying.
StoringAfter white chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
hey sam! i’m making these for christmas. is it okay to use unsalted butter instead?
Hi Kim! That will work just fine. You’ll want to just add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 🙂
Hands down the BEST cookie recipe I have ever tasted! And I haven’t even dipped them in white chocolate and dropped peppermint sprinkles on them yet! Absolute Perfection! I rarely comment on anything, but these are #1 in my recipe book from now on. Thank you for sharing!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy you love them, Kathryn! Thanks so much for commenting–enjoy the cookies! 🙂
I’m giving this 5 stars because the flavors are delicious & so festive! I was wondering if you could add the gram measurements you use to this recipe, please? My 1st pan came out a little bit flat, but so good!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much! I’m sorry this is an older recipe and I didn’t use gram measurements. I will definitely put it on my list of recipes to update. 🙂
Hi Sam! I just made this dough, rolled it out and currently flash freezing before putting them into ziplock freezer bags. I just wanted to confirm if I can freeze them this way to bake a little closer to Christmas. If not, I’ll just have to start over. Thanks for always answering our questions 🙂
Hi Liz! You shouldn’t have any issues freezing these. 🙂
Literally the most perfect Christmas cookie. Thanks for another killer recipe, Sam!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Ashley! 🙂
I’m definitely making these for Christmas. Do you recommend freezing baked cookies and them dipping them closer to Christmas. Love your site—I’m a FAN!
Hi Mary! That sounds like a great way to make them ahead of time. I’m glad you enjoy the site so much. 🙂
Any issue with using a ‘home made’ double boiler (metal mixing bowl in hot water) to melt the chocolate chip/butter combo as well as the white chocolate/shortening combo?? I don’t think there is but want to get your thoughts. Thx.
Sugar Spun Run
Hello, that should be fine. Let me know how it works out for you! I hope that you enjoy the cookies. 🙂
Double boiler worked perfect. These are the best Christmas cookies we have added in years. They will hold a permanent spot in the holiday cookie list! Perfection.
Sugar Spun Run
I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed them! Thanks so much! 🙂
I dont ever keep shortning in my house! What can I use to replace the shortning used in melting the white chocolate chips?
Hi, Judy! You can skip the shortening, you will just have a much thicker chocolate, but you should still be able to dip it. 🙂
The cookies came out very good, but the icing wasn’t very thin. In fact it was too thick to dip cookie into it, so I spread the icing on. I’m not the best cookie maker so do you have tips on getting the icing thiner.
Hmm, I’m wondering if the white chocolate might have possibly seized? Since it’s melted white chocolate with a little bit of shortening it should be a pretty fluid consistency, but if it was very thick it may have been microwaved too long or gotten too hot; if that happens the chocolate may seize, leaving you with a very thick, almost unusable chocolate that could be frosting-like in consistency and would probably have little lumps in it.
I hope that helps!
If that is the case, here’s the best way to prevent seizing in the future: Melt chocolate on 15-second increments, stirring very well every 15 seconds and microwaving until chocolate is just completely melted.
I made these last night and they are divine! Maybe even better than peppermint bark because you’ve got the chewy cookie in there with all the flavors. And they were as easy as you said! These are going to be an annual thing at my house from now on.
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them, Kris! Thanks for coming back and letting me know how they turned out! 😀
Sorry about the two comments! I didn’t think the first one went through. Obviously I wanted to make sure you knew I liked them! lol 🙂
I made these last night and they are divine! And just as easy as you said!
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them, Kris! Thanks for commenting 🙂
I decided to make these more minty by adding some mint extract to the dough and they came out pretty well! Also, I simply put the white chocolate on the top side instead of dipping them. My family loved them! Thanks!
Sounds delicious, I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed them! 🙂
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
These are so pretty, Sam! I love that you’ve done a chocolate cookie here…it’s a refreshing change from the vanilla-based ones. I love the way you decorated them too! I hope you had a lovely Christmas 🙂
Thank you, Beeta! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, as well (and a Happy New Year!)
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
These cookies are unreal! Such a classic holiday flavor 🙂
Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction
What perfect, scrumptious looking Christmas cookies! These are so pretty, too!